Safety tips for online dating

• Tip #2: Be completely honest in your profile and photo.

You don't want to lie about your age, your background or your personality.

Last year alone, twice as many marriages occurred between men and women who met online than took place among couples who met in bars, clubs and at other social events combined.If you've been considering taking the plunge into Internet dating but aren't quite sure how to get started, here are my nine key tips to ensure that your experience is a positive, safe and successful one.In fact, research shows that more than 40 million Americans (40 percent of all singles) use online dating services.It has become a very successful way to meet that someone special.Also, when you decide to give someone your phone number online, use your cell, rather than your home or work phone.

If things don't work out, cell phone numbers are much easier to change.• Tip #7: When you are ready to meet, arrange to do so in a busy public place, like a coffee shop, bookstore or other retail outlet.Don't have your date pick you up or drive you home.Chances are excellent that someone you know already knows the ropes and would be willing to help coach you.Most online dating sites also offer tips to help you get started.This applies to anyone you meet online, regardless of whether it is within the confines of an Internet dating or other site.